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Translated by Cardinal Newman.

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For my object in reminding you of this history is this, that you may compare those ancient transactions with what has happened to us now, and perceiving how much these last exceed the other in cruelty, may be filled with greater indignation on account of them, than were the people of old against those offenders. For the treatment we have undergone surpasses the bitterness of any persecution; and the calamity of the Levite was but small, when compared with the enormities which have now been committed against the Church; or rather such deeds as these were never before heard of in the whole world, or the like experienced by any one. For in that case it was but a single woman that was injured, and one Levite who suffered wrong; now the whole Church is injured, the priesthood insulted, and worst of all, piety [445] is persecuted by impiety. On that occasion the tribes were astounded, each at the sight of part of the body of one woman; but now the members of the whole Church are seen divided from one another, and are sent abroad some to you, and some to others, bringing word of the insults and injustice which they have suffered. Be ye therefore also moved, I beseech you, considering that these wrongs are done unto you no less than unto us; and let every one lend his aid, as feeling that he is himself a sufferer, lest shortly ecclesiastical Canons, and the faith of the Church be corrupted. For both are in danger, unless God shall speedily by your hands amend what has been done amiss, and the Church be avenged on her enemies. For our Canons [446] and our forms were not given to the Churches at the present day, but were wisely and safely transmitted to us from our forefathers. Neither had our faith its beginning at this time, but it came down to us from the Lord through His disciples [447] . That therefore the ordinances which have been preserved in the Churches from old time until now, may not be lost in our days, and the trust which has been committed to us required at our hands; rouse yourselves, brethren, as being stewards of the mysteries of God [448] , and seeing them now seized upon by others. Further particulars of our condition you will learn from the bearers of our letters; but I was anxious myself to write you a brief account thereof, that you may know for certain, that such things have never before been committed against the Church, from the day that our Saviour when He was taken up, gave command to His disciples, saying, 'Go ye and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost [449] .'

[446] Vid. Beveridg. Cod. Can. Illustr. i. 3. S:2, who comments on this passage at length. Allusion is also made to the Canons in Apol. contr. Arian. S:69.

[447] Vid. de Syn. S:4. Orat. i. S:8. Tertull. Praescr. Haer. S:29.

[448] 1 Cor. iv. 1.

[449] Matt. xxviii. 19.

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